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Motivation Articles  ›  Picking Yourself Back Up

25 Ways to Get Back on Track Today

Don't Give Up on Your Goals!

-- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator
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Not long ago, you were energetic and determined to start your healthy lifestyle. Starting with enthusiasm and hope, you watched your food intake diligently, exercised like it was going out of style, and even avoided the temptation that seemed to lurk around every corner. You were confident that you were going to reach your goals once and for all!

Then certain tragedy struck! You ate an extra piece of birthday cake. Realizing you had “blown” your diet, you ate another and another and couldn’t get it together the next day either. Or worse, you missed one workout, and that turned into a whole week away from the gym. After that, your momentum to start over again was gone, and your gym bag hasn’t left the closet since.

Every time you misstep on your healthy journey, you have two choices: to keep walking backwards, which will surely take you even further away from your goals; or to accept your lack of perfection as normal and forgivable, and take not one, but two positive steps down the path that brings your closer to the future you want.

If you’re reading this, you might have been walking backwards for a while. But instead of waiting for the next day, week, month or even year to overhaul your habits, start TODAY. And start small. You can’t go from the recliner to running or from burgers to Brussels sprouts in an afternoon. But you can do one, two or even a handful of small things that will help you regain your momentum for healthy living.

When you feel like getting back on track is overwhelming, try one (or more) of these small steps each day.

1. Try a short workout. Even five minutes is better than nothing. For ideas browse our video library or workout generator.

2. Try a new recipe. Cooking healthy foods can be fun and it never has to be bland.

3. Eat a healthy breakfast. Your morning meal sets the stage for the rest of your day, so start if off right! Get lots of breakfast ideas here.

4. Drink your water. Try to aim for 8 cups each day and you’ll feel the difference!

5. Look at Motivational SparkPages. Seeing how others overcome similar struggles and obstacles can be a great source of motivation.

6. Track your food today. No matter how it adds up, you’ll learn from it.

7. Update your SparkPage. It’s a visual way to track your ups and downs, but also your progress.
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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
Nicole was named "America's Top Personal Trainer to Watch" in 2011. A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, she loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Her DVDs "Total Body Sculpting" and "28 Day Boot Camp" (a best seller) are available online and in stores nationwide. Read Nicole's full bio and blog posts.

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Member Comments

  • just starting out again and this is what i need to help me - 3/14/2014 9:29:11 AM
  • I needed to read this right now! I really liked the part about expecting perfection sets you up for failure. I need to remember this, and that it is ok if I go off track ever now and then. Just because I don't eat in my calorie range for a day or two, or don't work out every day, doesn't mean I've failed and need to quit all together. It just means I'm human, and I can try again! - 1/20/2014 8:44:31 PM
  • Joining Curves did it for me. Paying money to work out is a great motivator. - 1/7/2014 8:35:15 PM
  • Tracking everything I eat is a major help,makes me realize how much I am actually eating and keeps track of calories - 1/5/2014 12:21:50 PM
  • Drinking the water always helps me to get back into the swing of things. - 1/2/2014 5:10:42 PM
  • Thanks! I needed this. - 11/23/2013 6:00:13 AM
  • I think this is one of the most helpful articles I've read on Spark People when it comes to losing your way and getting back on track. I have used and still do use most of these tips and they really do help. I come back to this one often.... it's a keeper!

    Thank you! - 11/17/2013 9:13:55 AM
  • I love this article! We can not demand perfection of ourselves - it will have the opposite effect, we are only human! So, let's be kind to ourselves and remember we are not "on a diet" but rather a journey through life. We should help ourselves and others! - 10/31/2013 5:57:30 PM
  • GLADDAY
    Reading this article really "woke me up". I've been especially tired for the last few weeks due to work stress, and haven't worked out or tracked my food intake at all. I will work out at least 10 minutes before going to work today, and will pick one other item from the suggestions to get back on track . (The work stress is not going away, so I have to figure out a way to keep moving forward in spite of it.) - 10/31/2013 4:36:39 AM
  • SILVERSPARROW04
    Ok no more sitting around myself that I will work out tomorrow and then never actually do it. I will work out tonight. As soon as I get home I will jump into my work out clothes and get it done \o/. Thank-you for the article I definitely needed it. - 10/18/2013 4:01:22 PM
  • really needed this article...I have gotten SO far out of control again in the past about a year due to stress, that I need to start ALL over again. Have gained even a little more than I was originally at and this article simply snapped my garter so to speak. Not sure how to reset everything here to start again, but will work on figuring that out... - 9/22/2013 8:09:21 AM
  • I just keep focused on the long term goal. I KNOW I am going to screw up once in a while. I do not let it bother me. - 8/29/2013 5:46:12 PM
  • Spark People has helped me get back on track, and stay on it for more than my usual 2 weeks. Thank You for a GREAT website. - 8/20/2013 7:15:10 AM
  • I sooo needed this article....time to get back on track!!! - 8/19/2013 4:55:26 AM
  • I'm returning to good habits; not 'starting over' because life gets lived daily, regardless of what I do with each day, but RETURNING. Today. - 8/16/2013 8:37:20 PM